OHIO – Today, the Ohio House approved an amended version of Ohio SB 187, adding anti-transgender sports ban language to a bill related to sports already under consideration. This amended bill would ban transgender youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. This discriminatory legislation now heads to the Senate, where the body is expected to consider the amended bill as early as today, which would put the measure on Governor DeWine’s desk.
There are more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in more than 30 state legislatures across the country. Of those, more than 120 directly target transgender people and more than 70 would, like OH SB 187, prohibit transgender youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David released the following statement on the movement of OH SB 187:
Wide range of business and advocacy groups, athletes oppose anti-trans legislation
A fight driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local legislators or public concern
These bills come from the same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights by pushing copycat bills across state houses — dangerous, anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), and Eagle Forum among others.
Trans equality is popular: Anti-transgender legislation is a low priority, even among Trump voters
A PBS/NPR/Marist poll states that 67% of Americans, including 66% of Republicans, oppose the anti-transgender sports ban legislation proliferating across 30 states.
In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group last fall:
Another more recent poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group revealed that, with respect to transgender youth participation in sports, the public’s strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”
States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal, reputational harm
Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills across the country, like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and an anti-transgender sports ban in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.
During a fight over an anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2017, the Texas Association of Business estimated $8.5 billion in economic losses, risking 185,000 jobs in the process due to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and professional sporting event cancellations, a ban on taxpayer funded travel to those states, cancellation of movie productions, and businesses moving projects out of state.
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